Wednesday, May 28, 2014

REPLY 2013: Top 20 Korean Albums of 2013

After weeks and months of pushing off on it, I've finally decided to just go ahead with it and post it: the Top 20 Korean Albums of 2013. Unfortunately, I was terrible at keeping track of everything I listened to in 2013, but from what I could remember, I listened to just over 100 albums released between December 1, 2012 ~ November 30, 2013. Which is probably a dozen or so fewer than what I listened to from 2012 for that year's round-up post. Which isn't bad, but still, it probably could've been better. Also, I was terribly uninspired in 2013 (as you could see from the dire lack of updates on this wee blog) which ultimately resulted in these awfully late round-up posts. I am not proud of myself. But let's get this over with and move on. Few important notes about this post:

  • This list includes albums released between December 1, 2012 and November 30, 2013.
  • Unlike my previous round-up lists, this list is not ranked. The list is in alphabet order.
  • This is a subjective list.
One interesting thing to note about this year's list is that it's unranked. It was really difficult to rank the albums, hence, alphabetical.

Friday, May 23, 2014


Hi all,
It's been a while! I don't exactly know what to say, the last few months - 2014 so far, really - have been crazy. So much stuff happened in life and blogging naturally took the back seat. I haven't forgotten about this space though, and I have plans and ideas for it, we'll see how it'll go, though. In the meanwhile, I thought I would write a brief update.

Chicken Broadcast. I've posted about it here once before, and I've been regularly posting about it on tumblr and other spaces, but I started an internet radio show this semester for my college internet radio station. I had previously worked at my school's commercial radio station (so FM, commercials, pretty legit, all that) as a photographer, but that job has since become extremely boring to me, so I quit and started as a radio DJ at a much smaller, free-form non-commercial radio station on campus. It's only online, which makes it more comfortable, and I get to play whatever I want, which is awesome. I've had over 10 shows now, and every time it's been a blast. I won't be doing it over the summer, but I'll definitely be back next semester.

Soompi. Ah, why the hell not. I've started writing for Soompi. I've never kept up with k-pop news sites or big k-pop sites in general, but a friend of mine told me that they were hiring writers, and I happened to be looking for a part-time job to make extra money to pay for food and stuff. It's actually been pretty fun so far. The pay is pretty good, and since I genuinely enjoy translating it's all really good. I won't tell you my pen name on the site, but it might be obvious.

Lyrical Movement. This is really old news but I realized I never posted about it here? Anyway, I had a Livejournal community I ran for a couple of years called Lyrical Movement where along with a couple of other translators, I translated Korean lyrics into English. But Livejournal has since been headed towards the gutters, and I thought I should revamp it, so I started Lyrical Movement 2.0 on wordpress. And along with three other really amazing translators, we update pretty regularly (so far) and it's really fantastic, because Lyrical Movement has always been my precious baby project. I'm quite proud of what it was, and what it is now. If any of you need lyrics translated, hit us up! We mainly focus on Korean indie songs.

Music. I've been catching up with a lot of recent releases lately! I wish I could write proper reviews for everything I have been listening to but we all know that probably won't happen. But to keep things short, heavy rotation, in Korean: Small o's first full-length album Temper of Water, The Solutions' 2nd studio album Movements, The Lads' first LP The Lads on the Street. In English: The Horrors' Luminous, Damon Albarn's solo album Everyday Robots, and Blood Orange's Cupid Deluxe. Have a good feeling about St. Vincent's latest self-titled album as well, although I've only listened through it once.

Movies. I tentatively started a movie blog months ago, called Cinematriarchy, which I thought (still think?) is so clever, but I haven't really done much with it yet. I've been watching more movies lately though, and I'm really hoping to regularly write about movies, because I love talking about movies. I've been in a Korean movie binge lately, so I've been catching up with all the movies I have been meaning to watch. Finally got around to watching Park Chan Wook's Vengeance Trilogy, which lived up to its fame. The Man From Nowhere was fucking brilliant. Moss fulfilled my mediocre Korean thriller need so it was an alright experience. The King and the Clown was not as good as I expected but still solid. Still got a bunch of movies to watch, and hopefully I'll write about them... hopefully... fingers crossed.

Television. Television is also something I want to start talking more about, but that will probably be over at Cinematriarchy as well, unless it's Korean or a general commentary post which I might post here. Honestly, still not sure what I'm going to do with this space. Anyway, I've been extremely behind on television, even with some of my favourite shows returning this past season. Haven't even touched the latest season of Shameless or Game of Thrones. The only show I've been pretty up-to-date with this season was Hannibal, which was terrifying, to say the least. I have no idea where this show is going. I also started watching Secret Love Affair, but incredibly behind on that as well. I'll get to it, eventually. Speaking of TV though......

Haru is literally the prettiest little child I've ever seen. Such great facial features. And EYEBROWS!!! Her eyebrows give me LIFE
Minyul from Dad Where Are We Going is my little overlord. He is such a cutie. 

Another thing about these shows are how funny the dads are. Look at Yoon Minsoo. What the hell is he wearing. 
... Baby Hell. If you follow me on twitter you might already be aware of my ongoing struggle with what I call "Baby Hell". Baby Hell = two Korean variety shows that air on Sunday called Return of Superman and Dad Where Are You Going. At one point, when I had it real bad the Chinese version of Dad Where Are You Going also haunted me. These damn shows feature adorable children who run around doing things and I just can't simply get enough of it. I was planning on writing posts about these baby hell shows but I'd probably end up being incoherent and I'll just end up writing worships for these children. Each episode of both shows is 100 minutes long, which means I dedicate 200 minutes of my time watching children play on television every Sunday. I'm pretty sure this is the government's ploy to get more people to have children. (I don't want any still, but if it was someone like Joon from season 1 of Dad Where Are You Going or Haru from Return of Superman....)

Reading. Been reading a lot of comics lately. Working my way through Alison Bechdel's Are You My Mother?, which, so far, is not as good as Fun Home, but I am only 50ish pages into it, so I will put off my verdict on it for now. Online I have been catching up to various Korean webtoons, so many of which I wish were translated into English so I can share my excitement for them with more people. I know Naver Webtoon is the webtoon service most people are familiar with, but Daum Webtoon is where it's at. All my current favourite webtoons are at Daum. (For those who can read Korean - I strongly recommend 묘진전 on Daum Webtoon. Made me cry at least twice. Seriously one of the most beautifully told comics I've read.) Other than that, my reading list for this summer is heavy, I've got so many books I want to read.

That's it for now. I'll try to update more regularly from now on but. We shall see about that.